NIJ's Multisite Evaluation of Prosecutor-Led Diversion Programs

Strategies, Impacts, and Cost-Effectiveness

Published in: Center for Court Innovation [Epub April 2018]

Posted on RAND.org on May 17, 2018

by Michael Rempel, Melissa M. Labriola, Priscillia Hunt, Robert C. Davis, Warren A. Reich, Samantha Cherney

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With funding from the National Institute of Justice, this study examines 16 prosecutor-led diversion programs in 11 jurisdictions across the country, and presents the results of impact evaluations of five programs and cost evaluations of four programs. In recent years, a growing number of prosecutors have established pretrial diversion programs. However, there is considerable variation in the types of cases deemed eligible, the moment at which diversion occurs (before or after the court process is underway), and the types of mandates assigned. Of the programs formally evaluated, the study found significant reductions in the probability of a conviction, jail sentence, and future re-arrest, along with sizable savings in costs and resources.

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